Senate Budget Committee Passes Gregg Amendment To Prevent Clean Energy Reconciliation 16-6

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 23 Apr 2010 12:05:00 GMT

E&E News reports on yesterday’s budget hearing:
The committee easily approved, 16-6, an amendment from ranking member Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) that would establish a point of order against using reconciliation for any new program whose spending exceeds 20 percent of the amount of the reconciliation instruction to the committee. In essence, that would mean that any far-reaching legislative program – including climate legislation – would likely violate the provision.

“One would hope that you’re not going to put energy in reconciliation, but if you are it would definitely trip this point of order,” Gregg said.

The point of order could be waved but that would require the support of 60 senators, negating the procedural advantage of moving a bill though the filibuster-proof reconciliation process.

A number of Democrats, including Conrad, had said even before yesterday’s action that there appeared to be little interest in the Senate in moving climate legislation through reconciliation. Indeed, Conrad and five other committee Democrats voted with the Republicans on Gregg’s amendment.

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